Fruit Trees

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Phil - MO, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. Phil - MO

    Phil - MO Active Member

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    Over the last three years I've planted about 50 fruit trees in the middle of a hay field.
    I don't live on the farm yet, (maybe next year) so I have trouble taking care of them properly.
    The local forestry agent said the thick fescue was killing them (along with the deer) and slowing their growth. He suggested I put a stove pipe around the tree and spray roundup on the fescue in about a 3 ft. circle which I did last week. I also used some fertilizer stakes. If I didn't kill the rest of them, I wonder if I should consider using some mulch? I think I have about 25 left, but they sure haven't grown much.
     
  2. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    TX
    Just don't mulch right up to the trunk, it's bad for them. Mulch is also a place for mice to overwinter in colder climates. But it's great stuff otherwise! What about a tree ring?

    Do you feed your trees? Are they watered regularly? I know that when I planted my semi-dwarves, I was told to make sure that they got at least 5 gallons of water per week, so I took that literally, and water them once a week with a 5 gallon bucket. Two or three times if it's the blazing Texas summer.

    hope this helps!

    hollym
     

  3. ChuckinVA

    ChuckinVA Well-Known Member

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    Virginia
    Your forester has given you some good advice.The fescue is competing with the trees for nutrients and water. Mulch is good but like Hollym said keep it away from the trunk of the tree. You didn't mention any type of spraying program. Are you protecting your trees from pests and bugs? This also will affect the health of your trees. Spraying is critical to any orchard.
     
  4. copperhead51

    copperhead51 Well-Known Member

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    At least no one stole them!
     
  5. Phil - MO

    Phil - MO Active Member

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    Haven't heard from you for awhile.
    How are things with you and the family?
    Have you got the house pretty well finished by now?

    I decided to work until I have my hip done May 11, and then come back until I feel like I can retire. Might as well get paid while I recuperate. The doctor said I should be good to go in 6 months on the house. Trouble is that puts me into November and old enough to get social security. I'll probably wait until next spring to start the house.

    There are a few trees completely missing, but I think I maybe mowed them off when I baled hay, or maybe the grandkids ran over them with the ATV or trail bike. I should have put a little more thought where I planted them, but the family had an orchard in this field in the old days (1875-1950?) and I still have one very large pear tree left. I bet there was 30 bushels of pears on that tree last year. By the way, we added the 80 acres that a couple of cousins owned, and I now have the whole farm pulled back together. Just had to work a little longer to pay for it and hope to have a few more years to enjoy it.